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Summary: Business today is all about building relationships and HighRise is a customer relationship management tool that makes the process much easier for today's busy business owners. Other CRS tools take on too many functions and become cumbersome and unwieldy. HighRise, by 37Signals, offers just the right amount of funcationality and features to take your CRM efforts to new heights.
How HighRise (37Signals) Compares...
It is becoming increasingly necessary for business owners to invest a significant amount of time and energy towards developing relationships with customers. That process is much easier to accomplish when you use products like HighRise by 37Signals.
HighRise is a well thought out product. It has a lot to offer business owners who are interested specifically in a CRM (customer relationship management) tool to help build better, stronger, and longer-lasting relationships with customers. Here are a few thoughts from my own personal experience using the product.
The first thing that popped out at me with HighRise is that it's extremely user-friendly. The forms are easy. The process explains itself. The colors are soothing and there is no inherent eye-strain by using the product due to harsh colors.
In addition to filling in the contact forms you can also import contact information from Outlook, ACT!, vCard, CSV files, and Basecamp. This makes it much easier to integrate large volumes of contact information into HighRise; and, I like anything that makes my life easier.
I really like that fact that there is more than just a content area. HighRise has separate areas for contacts, tasks, cases, and deals. Each section is useful in its own right.
The tasks feature allows you the opportunity to set tasks along with the option of making those tasks public to other users in your group or keeping them private. The best feature about the "tasks" area is that you can set up SMS or email alerts so that you don't forget about important tasks and/or appointments.
Cases are sort of like virtual briefcases that keep all the related material for one "case" in the same place. This important information may include files, notes, photographs, contact information, and emails pertaining to the "case". You can share the contents of the case among multiple people without worrying over anything getting lost in the shuffle.
The "Deals" feature is the perfect choice for big-time movers and shakers out there (or those who want to hit the big-time). It allows you to keep up with all your proposals as well as which ones have been won, lost, or are still pending. You can also note any amendments to the proposals, counter-offers, and relevant negotiating materials for fast access whenever contacts are made concerning your proposals or bids. As with all other forms on HighRise, the form is simple and self-explanatory, making it easy to use and incorporate into your daily business routine.
There are other CRM products on the market today that feature a wider range of services. The problem with those, is that there really can be too much of a good thing. All the extra bells and whistles can distract from the job function at hand. That isn't the case with HighRise. It sticks to features and services that relate directly to building relationships and streamlining communication between you and your customers. It does it very well.
My one major complaint is that customer service isn't instantly available 24/7. For the monthly fee, I expect to have my questions answered as I come up with them and not whenever someone at the company has a chance to get back in touch with me. However, there is a healthy and active customer-to-customer community setup where questions, hints, and tips can be asked, answered, and shared for common issues that crop with HighRise or any other 37Signals products.
Who is it Good For?
There are many different people who can benefit from a product such as this. The first group of people who come to mind are multi-level marketers. While many MLM companies have their own customer contact software, HighRise goes above and beyond what most of them, at least to date, have to offer.
Why is it so good for MLM professionals? The main reason is in the followup. That is where HighRise excels. It doesn't allow you to forget to follow up with potential business partners, potential clients, or even when dealing with problems in the organization. The fact that you can share your information with various members of your team or sales organization is yet another reason to believe that this is an excellent choice for people in this line of work.
However, other Internet marketers and brick and mortar business owners can certainly benefit from a streamlined program like HighRise too. Just remember that this isn't a shopping cart or an autoresponder. That's not what it was designed to do. You're better served by turning to stand alone products for those services most of the time anyway.
When all is said and done, HighRise is a solid product that delivers exactly what it promises. There is no overblown hype and the product isn't too complicated for the average user to understand and navigate. It's easy to use and there is support available. There is also a nice range of monthly fees making it a decent fit for large and small organizations alike.